HUD’s Carson: Government Should Not Stand in the Way of Lenders

The Trump administration will take steps to ensure that lenders can participate fully in programs offered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in remarks yesterday. Carson acknowledged that a lack of clarity about HUD’s expectations for lenders making FHA loans or issuing Ginnie Mae securities have caused many to exit these programs for fear of facing government penalties and announced that HUD and the Department of Justice will conduct a review of existing rules and regulations.

“We want every good lender who makes responsible loans, and services them well, to feel confident that they can participate fully in HUD’s programs, serving borrowers and enabling housing to continue to spur our economy,” Carson said. He noted that HUD has formed a task force to identify agency regulations that should be repealed, replaced or modified as part of a larger initiative by the Trump administration and that the process will “entail a review by FHA of its lender certifications and implementation of the defect taxonomy.”

Turning to housing reform, Carson noted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in government conservatorship for too long and expressed his hope for comprehensive changes in the near future. “I think there is a broad agreement that there is an opportunity for reform to ensure a well-functioning housing finance system… that expands the role of private sector and reduces taxpayer exposure. And, we must approach these questions comprehensively to avoid unintended consequences.”